John F. Kennedy said . . . “Our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this planet.
We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.”
We are a community. We share this earth. Think for a moment of all the people with whom you share a relatively small space — a house, a city, a country, a world. We are linked through space as we bump up against our own reality — the space that contains our lives. Very few of us ever leave this planet to roam in space but we each have space that we share with others, right now.
Right now, I am sitting in a house, shared with, sometimes, eight other people — adults, children, even a couple of dogs, even though they are not “allowed.”. Just outside the window of my apartment — my share of this building — is a bluff where I run into people hiking, a bicycle trail I share with many others, here in Spokane, Washington. There are parks filled with sweet smelling flowers, animals, trees, and other people. This is my home but I share it with many others.
Last week, I went bicycling on the Fish Lake Trail. I rode behind a five year old as he wobbled back and forth in space. We surprised a deer, who stayed for a moment to thrill us before leaping off into the trees along the trail. The boy jumped off his bike, dropped it to the ground and ran off into the forest convinced that he could catch sight of the deer again.
“It is long gone,” I called after him waiting for his return. He had to see for himself the impermanence of one experience as a new moment comes — learn for himself to enjoy that moment when you startle a deer grazing by the side of a trail because you only have that moment and then it is gone. But now in his mind’s eye he will always have that split second watching the grace of a beautiful doe, muscles taut and strong moving through the air as if unbound by gravity.
I owned a house once but like the deer, I didn’t stay. I changed and the trajectory of my whole life shifted so that I could be here now. Now, I rent my apartment so even this space that is just mine, is not really mine at all. And in time this man-made structure will change and even the landscape around me will transform over time.
It is not the space that matters. It is how we share space that makes all the difference. Is it really worth fight and killing over space. Space that was never ours and never will actually be ours.
Who are your neighbors? Are they like minded souls or vastly different? What have you or can you learn from them in the future?
Another thing we have in common is the unknowingness of the future. For some people it is their job to know the future. What do you “know” of the future? What do you predict for yourself? Who do you listen to predict your future?
Futurists watch 24 hours of news compressed, sped up in 15 minutes, glimpsing only the highlights — the trends and seeing the pattern, they predict the future.
Doctors never having all the necessary details predict death and disability — not knowing the strength of a unique individuals resolves, resources, relationships that can create healing surprises. “You may become blind,” says one to me, but he continues to be wrong for the last 28 years. And no one knows the future.
What is the past but a template, a line headed in a particular direction? We can see the trajectory but know nothing of the things chosen or not chosen that will shift the trajectory in an instance. Each day is new.
George Bernard Shaw said, “If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must man be of learning from experience.”
There is a joke about a psychic suing her employer for firing her without notice. We are masters of only this moment.
History or the past is brim full of experiences, that color and hold the seed of the present moment, but this moment changes the next.
In the movie, Next, Cris Johnson, who can see a little bit into the future, says, “Here is the thing about the future. Every time you look at, it changes, because you looked at it, and that changes everything else.”
Predictors of The Future
Who do you consult about the future?
Psychics feel the energy, look at auras and predict the future. Astrologers consult the stars, giving us guides for ways to live our lives based on what they see. Whether it helps or hurts is an individual mindset.
Newscasters night after night speak about what has happened and speculate about what is to come.
Weather reporters look at the last hundred years investigating what the combination of temperature, winds, pressure, and humidity did in the past and tell us there is a 30 percent chance of rain. That is what happened 30 percent of the time under similar conditions in the past. I wonder if one day in the future, theaters and restaurants will band together and sue weather forecasters when they are wrong about that “huge” winter storm, that doesn’t come. Everyone stays home, business and experiences lost because of a prediction. We can never get that time back, that time we worried about the future.
Foresters and gardener plant trees and perennials and have a certain expectations and hopes for future yields. Stock brokers buy corn futures or gold futures. Parents have children and plan funds for future education. Middle managers speculate on retirement funds.
And we all plan but none of us knows.
So if you don’t know what the future will bring, what are you saying about the future — something that will never exist — as every cell in your body listens? What are you predicting about time, about which, Albert Einstein said, “The distinction between the past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”
Community of Humanity Now
When will we truly see our connections, our community of humanity, and realize that it is not time and space that matter but what we do with the time and space we occupy right now?
Originally published at http://www.innerchildmagazine.com/the-community-of-humanity.php on September 15, 2014.